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Do it Yourself 30A Beach Bonfires

Discussion in '30A Florida Vacation Guide' started by 30APrimeGuy, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. 30APrimeGuy

    30APrimeGuy Administrator Staff Member

    Nothing brings a group of family and friends together better than a 30A beach bonfire. South Walton is one of the few places in Florida that allow beach fires which is awesome! The county allows them so long as you obtain a permit from the fire department prior to the event. Obtaining a permit is fairly easy and here's how to do it...

    You simply need to go to the South Walton Fire Department and let them know you'd like to purchase a beach bonfire permit. The friendly ladies that work there will ask you for the exact Public beach access point that you are planning on doing the fire so make sure you know that prior to going. I need to stress the phrase "PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS POINT" because they will not allow you do obtain a permit on private beaches. It has to be done on one of the public beach access points in South Walton county. Also, they will ask for your drivers license, the date and time of the fire and $50. If you want to pay via credit card it's $55. In most cases, you can obtain the permit the same day as the bonfire.

    Once you have the beach bonfire permit there are a few other things to keep in mind if you are doing the fire yourself and they are...

    1. You need to have a galvanized metal container to burn the fire in. You cannot just dig a hole in the sand and start the fire. If law enforcement were to stop by and you didn't have the fire in a metal saucer or container you would be fined.

    2. In most cases you'll find good firewood at any Publix and most of the gas stations in the area. During the high season summer months finding good firewood can present a challenge due to high demand so keep that in mind and plan ahead.

    3. Make sure to carry the beach bonfire permit with you at all times. Just make sure you have it on your persons while you host the beach bonfire party. If you purchased the permit but forgot to bring it to the bonfire you'll most likely still get fined.

    4. You'll want to make sure you have plenty of nice beach chairs and a few tables. People like to sit, not stand around the fire. Also, it's a good idea to have at least 2 or 3 tables because people typically bring lots of snacks, drinks and food. Having 1 table dedicated to "cocktail station" is always a great idea. Just remember to use plastic cups and aluminum cans. Glass on the beach is highly illegal.

    5. Bamboo Tiki Torches are crucial to a successful 30A beach bonfire. Tiki torches provide light, ambiance and just look cool. Everyone loves a good Tiki torch around the fire.

    6. Bring at least 1 garbage can. This seems obvious but is often overlooked. A large garbage can or two down at the fire is super crucial. It's amazing how much trash a group of people can quickly create. You'll wan to have those trash cans because you are 100% responsible for making sure the beach is clean before leaving. Remember, the government officials know about your party due to the permit so if they find anything the next day the permit holder might get a call.

    7. Music is key to a great beach bonfire. Make sure to bring a mobile music device that allows people to connect via Bluetooth and play their favorite songs.

    8. You'll want to bring a couple sets of kitchen hot pads. You'll used them when roasting marshmallows and/or hot dogs. You'll also need them at the end of the night when you properly dispose of the fire.

    9. Hands Free Flashlights that you wear on your head come in hand when it's time to clean up.

    Some of the most popular public 30A access points for beach bonfires are the following;

    1. Orange Street Inlet Beach access point. Inlet Beach Orange St is a great choice for beach bonfires because there is plenty of parking and super clean bathrooms. Also, the Orange Street access point has zero stairs and is wheelchair accessible.

    2. Santa Clara / Bramble Grove Beach Access point in Seagrove. Located on the west end of Seagrove Beach, Bramble Grove is a terrific public access point for a 30A beach bonfire. It's close to Seaside and WaterColor so folks staying there can use it in addition to Seagrove vacationers. Also, there is a ton of parking and the ramp to the beach wheelchair accessible. Finally, the bathrooms at Bramble Grove are clean.

    3. On the west end of 30A, Dune Allen Beach access point is great for bonfires. Same them as the other 2... It offers tons of parking, clean bathrooms and easy ramp beach access.

    Hopefully, this helps point you in the right direction if you're considering doing your own 30A beach bonfire. Having done many of them in the past few years I can tell you this... Doing a 30A beach bonfire yourself is allot of work but it's so worth it. If done right, everyone will have a blast and you'll save money.

    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    30aEscapes likes this.
  2. BernieBrewer

    BernieBrewer New Member

    Thanks for the info on DIY Beach Bonfires. We'll be down on 30A in April and definitely want to do this but I'm not sure I'll be able to pull together all the equipment / supplies needed. We're driving down from Wisconsin and our van will already be packed to the gills so I don't think I'd be able to fit tables and a metal fire pit. Please let me know if there are any good 30A beach bonfire services that you would recommend.

    B-Chan likes this.
  3. 30APrimeGuy

    30APrimeGuy Administrator Staff Member

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  4. FinnDavis

    FinnDavis New Member

    Do it yourself 30A beach bonfires are the best! We try to do at least one a month and we always do it at the Santa Clara / Bramble Grove regional beach access point in Seagrove. It's wheelchair accessible, has lots of parking and the bathrooms are clean. You covered pretty much everything I can think of in terms of DIY Beach Bonfires. I guess the only thing I would add to your list is if you have a wagon you'll definitely want to use it. Wagons are key when it comes to hauling firewood and other supplies up and down the ramp.
    B-Chan likes this.
  5. 30APrimeGuy

    30APrimeGuy Administrator Staff Member

    Great call on the wagon! It's most definitely an essential piece of the DIY 30A beach bonfire puzzle.
    B-Chan likes this.
  6. B-Chan

    B-Chan Active Member

    Oh I am originally from IL so we did bonfires out in the country or our friends yards. No permit needed. All these things are good to know as a beach bonfire is a little different set up than up North in a cornfield or grassy yard. I would probably add to your list and optional ice chest for drinks and a bag of ice. As far as the firewood goes, I know Publix tends to run out of Firewood quickly. So try Winn Dixie if they are out or you can always try Lowes or Home Depot. Those stores also usually carry firewood.

    I hope this helps anyone looking to do this themselves! I may do one soon. I have to look more into that permit. Thanks!
  7. Elias Hayes

    Elias Hayes New Member

    Ohh Thats so nice.
    B-Chan and 30APrimeGuy like this.

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